Galeria Filomena Soares
19.Sep.2019 | 09.Nov.2019
Every couple of seconds, the muscle that raises the upper eyelid is released, while another acts involuntary. The eyes close. The eyelid is raised by the contracting muscle, again instantaneously exposing the eye to light. A black spot is inserted in this way into the ongoing perception of the world for about 300-400 milliseconds— an abrupt cut-to-black repeated 15-20 times per minute. The constant yet largely imperceptible interruption of vision serves ostensibly to lubricate and clean the eye. This opening and closing is also a protective reflex, a startled reaction to a loud sound or anything approaching the face. None of this is either random, nor particularly obvious. (...)
You can be blinded by the dark; or you can be blinded by too much light. Igor Jesus’ Safelight confronts how technical vision mediates such excesses in the registration of wavelengths of light, mediating them through a series of technical effects. A programmable beam of light used in theatrical settings or nightclubs circles a path, randomly coinciding with the aperture of a camera. At the crossing of these two optical devices, an overloaded black image results, unstable until the beam once again moves along its errant path. Too much light effaces the image to black, the beam only seen again once its photons are redirected elsewhere. The camera blinks and stutters, overloaded. If the amplitude of a perceived sound is too much for the human ear, analogously, the result is often also the closing of the eyes. The light is registered the limits of the speed of the shutter, the artefacts of such limits seen as blurbs, flicker, or coloured halos.
From the text by João Ribas (translated by Susana Pomba)